Geoff Barton welcomes move for online exam testing

Lisa R. Parker

6:00 AM Might 6, 2022

A previous Bury St Edmunds headteacher has welcomed programs to explore moving GCSE and A-degree assessments on line soon after an examination regulator disclosed its a few-yr vision. 

Geoff Barton, who left King Edward VI Faculty in March 2017 soon after 15 yrs at the helm of the Bury school, reported he was “delighted” that new techniques to tests were being currently being regarded. 

Stock education image. Picture: NIALL CARSON

On line tests could spell the conclusion for paper and pen examinations
– Credit history: PA

Ofqual said on Wednesday it will examine new methods to assessment, together with the use of technology, as section of its strategies for the future a few yrs. 

The regulator said use of on-line adaptive screening – where by digital tests automatically alter to go well with a candidate’s ability amount – will be examined. 

Mr Barton, who is now normal secretary of the Association of College and College Leaders,  said the “Fort Knox-design security arrangements” for exams ended up “ripe for reform”. 

“We are delighted that Ofqual is going to look at new ways to examinations, such as the use of engineering, and that it intends to work with the awarding organisations to this conclude,” he explained. 

“Our latest reliance on a pen-and-paper exam system, organised at an industrial scale with Fort Knox-type security preparations all-around the transportation and storing of papers, is hopelessly out-of-date and ripe for reform.”

He explained the coronavirus pandemic had unveiled how “vulnerable” the assessment technique was to unanticipated activities.

“If on line assessment experienced been available, it may possibly not have been needed to terminate all summer time exams for two a long time in a row,” he reported. 

Mr Barton said the new on line systems would will need to be carefully analyzed to make absolutely sure they ended up trustworthy, and that headteachers felt that “know-how in assessment is only 1 portion of the photograph, and that tests on their own require to modify”.

Geoff Barton. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Former King Edward VI College headteacher Geoff Barton welcomed the move
– Credit score: Archant

He added there must be “significantly less emphasis on a large and relentless established of terminal exams”.

Mary Bousted, joint standard secretary of the NEU educating union, also voiced her support but mentioned the ideas did not go much more than enough. 

“Schooling, and the proof of what a scholar has realized in their time at school and college, is about far extra than displaying what can be remembered in an finish-of-study course examination. Grades and assessments should replicate this, usually we are undertaking young persons a disservice,” she explained.

Ian Bauckham, Ofqual chairman, reported: “The pandemic has, rightly, catalysed queries about not if, but when, and how, greater use of technological innovation and onscreen evaluation should be adopted.

“All proposed changes will need to be cautiously assessed for their affect on learners, together with those with particular academic requires and disabilities.”

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